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Movie Picks

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Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

Australia (PG-13)

For the first 85 minutes, Australia's a sprawling Western set in 1939 Northern Australia (starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman). The second half is an epic wartime romance. But the film overreaches as it tries to staple two movies together. Scott Renshaw

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (PG)

Drew Barrymore provides the voice of Chloe, a rich chihuahua who finds herself lost on vacation in Mexico. Not reviewed

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Body of Lies (R)

Body of Lies is a story that often seems poised to tell us more about why the War on Terror has turned into such a quagmire, then retreats to the relative safety of explosions and shouting matches. Scott Renshaw

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Bolt (PG)

A dog (voiced by John Travolta), who acts in a TV show, thinks he has superpowers until he learns the power of friendship on a cross-country trip. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Cadillac Records (R)

Writer-director Darnell Martin tells the tale of Chess Records, the momentous mixed-up musical family assembled by Leonard Chess, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James and Willie Dixon, among others. I must say, I want more. Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

City of Ember (PG)

The people of Ember have lived in their city of lights for years. When the generator begins to fail, two teens must find the secret that keeps their city alive. Not reviewed

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*The Dark Knight (PG-13)

Batman's purposeful, gadget-abetted vigilantism has shown results, but still he has his work cut out for him. The film offers many thrills, some surprises and a few remarkable character transformations. Jonathan Kiefer

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The Day the Earth Stood Still (PG-13)

This is The Day the Earth Barely Even Notices We're on the Brink of Doom, and Why Don't Those Damn Hippies Just Shut Up About Global Warming Already? I'll be damned if there's any indication why the aliens prefer to save the planet over us, or why the audience should understand it either. MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Eagle Eye (PG-13)

Two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) end up fighting for their lives together when an unexpected phone call puts them into dangerous situations that keep escalating. Not reviewed

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Fireproof (PG)

In an attempt to help their failing marriage, a fireman and his wife enlist in a stunt called "The Love Dare." Not reviewed

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Four Christmases (PG-13)

A couple (Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn) attempt to visit all four of their parents' homes for the holidays. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (G)

As the end of high school approaches, Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and the rest of the gang put on a musical to express their hopes and dreams for the future. Not reviewed

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Igor (PG)

In this animated feature, a hunchbacked lab assistant longs to be a full-fledged scientist and win the Evil Science Fair. Not reviewed

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)

In this animated sequel, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) and his zoo friends board a flight to New York City, only to end up in Africa. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Max Payne (PG-13)

Mark Wahlberg stars as a New York City DEA agent seeking revenge after his family is killed in the midst of a conspiracy. Not reviewed

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*Milk (R)

If no single moment can be completely fitting for a biographical drama about martyred civil rights hero Harvey Milk, this moment, 30 years after his assassination, sure feels close. In the end, Milk transcends its historical duty, seeming both timely and timeless. Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Twin Peak

Quantum of Solace (PG-13)

Quantum of Solace is a mean little film, grim and single-minded, without the pleasure or mischief that has made James Bond so endearing. Jonathan Kiefer

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Role Models (R)

Role Models is that usual assemblage of tittering about bodily fluids, casual homophobia, random sex acts and other expressions of apparently unoutgrowable male adolescent anxiety that passes for comedy today. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Picture Show

The Secret Life of Bees (PG-13)

What makes this kind of glorified TV-movie so frustrating? You know it's never going to dig at anything. The film does show (discreetly) the arbitrary violence against Southern blacks, but there's little pretense that the film is more than a pep rally for female strength. Scott Renshaw

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Seven Pounds (PG-13)

In a world where trailers usually give away the entire plot, Sony Pictures has been downright elusive about this one. Maybe we can tell it's a drama with some tragic elements but we can be sure that Will Smith is the hero. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Slumdog Millionaire (R)

Now we know why the world has been overrun by idiotic game shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Without them we wouldn't have Danny Boyle's surprising, fresh and enchanting new movie about a poor teen from Mumbai poised to win 20 million rupees on the Indian version of the familiar game. MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Twin Peak

*The Tale of Despereaux (G)

You wouldn't think there would be any more lovely stories to tell about cute furry creatures (like Despereaux the mouse) who defy odds, embrace danger, find love and celebrate honor all from the confines of a cartoon. But with this delightful, inventive film, we find there's at least one more. MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Twilight (PG-13)

OMG! This is the best movie ever (if you're a 12-year-old fan). Twilight is all about Bella, who's a junior in high school, and Edward, who is the totally cute vampire teenager she meets at school. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Yes Man (PG-13)

In this comedy, Jim Carrey plays a man who pledges to say "Yes" to everything asked of him for an entire year. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

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